Max Biaggi set a new track best in claiming his first superpole of the year at the Nurburgring today.

The Italian (Aprilia Racing) clocked a time of one minute 53.855 seconds to earn only the fifth superpole of his career, with Tom Sykes having to settle for second-best for once.

Briton Sykes had won seven of the 11 superpoles this season heading into this 12th round of the World Superbike Championship but the Kawasaki rider was unable to match the efforts of Biaggi today as he could only record a time of 1:53.904secs.

Third place went to championship leader Marco Melandri (BMW) while Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing) and Jonathan Rea (Honda) were fourth and fifth respectively.

Sixth spot when to reigning world champion Carlos Checa (Althea), followed by Leon Camier (Suzuki) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki) in seventh and eighth.

Melandri took over at the top of the overall standings after claiming a second place and a win last time out in Moscow to move onto 308.5 points and replace 2010 champion Biaggi, who dropped to second with 290 points. Sykes is third with 267.5.